Husband of 10 years is Poly-Just Found Out
My husband and I have been married for 10 years and have two kids together. Two years ago he kissed a woman that he worked with and I found out about the kiss. I confronted him and was very hurt because I felt up until that point that we had a loving and honest relationship. It was very emotional for me and him. He apologized profusely that he had kissed her and especially that he kept it secret, but said that he was starting to love this woman and he thinks that he is polyamorous. He begged me not to leave him because he “loves me and always has” and said that his dishonesty was wrong, but it was because he was trying to pretend that he didn’t love this other person when he did. Anyway, I was very hurt by the dishonesty, but I love him and what he said was genuine (of course there was much more said, but this was the gist). I agreed that as long as he was 100% honest in the future he could be close friends with this woman and I would try to be friends with her as well. Basically, that she would be in our life – if I could handle that, I would try.
Fast forward 2 years (now) and my husband cheated on me with this person. I was doubly betrayed because she had become a friend. I feel like I did all that I could and I tried so hard and then he lied to me again and he had sex with her as well, when I told him that this was NOT ok. He says that it was a huge mistake and that he still loves me and he knows it was wrong. He says that he fell completely in love with her through continuing to be friends with her, but that he never wanted to hurt me. Per him, he knew that I could not handle him having a “more than friends” relationship with her because of what I had said before, but could not bear to not be in love with her, so he lied to me. I do not think any of that last part, as far as his actions, are OK at all and I have told him this. I told him that the only way we can even hope to work through this is if he does not have contact with her anymore. It has been about 3 weeks now and he has honored my wishes.
Some days I feel like I am working through this, but he still misses her and tells me about that. I understand that he loves her and that he is dealing with not having her in his life anymore, but I cannot handle him telling me about that because of the betrayal associated with it for me. He has said that he still loves her and wants her in his life and he is worried he will never be happy and that he will just make me miserable.
I am definitely monogamous- that is just me. However, I am willing to accept him for who he is and maybe someday (after a lot of healing) even try to be in a poly relationship with him. However, I cannot ever try to open myself up to that with this particular woman involved (it just hurts too much). What should I do? Should I just give this all time for us to both heal?
I'm sorry to pour all this out (I know this is a book), but I don’t know what to do. Totally unchartered territory for me and him. We went to a marriage counselor and she really wasn’t much help at all.
this must be hard for you i understand. i think it might be well known that we dont get a choice for whom we fall for,love happens. but we spend our whole lives being conditioned to the lie that we are special,and that there is only one out there in the big world that will help us feel special.
this might be an oppertunity to search deep down into your self and understand how you love yourself. if you can love yourself unconditionaly,you will heal.
First of all, I am so sorry for you. What your husband did was wrong. Cheating isn't okay no matter how poly you feel yourself to be or how much you love the person you cheated with.
I have one question; when your husband told you he might be poly, did you just leave it at that? Did it ever come up again before his betrayal was uncovered? Or did you think it should be enough for your husband to be just friends with this woman? It's likely that after the discussion, you had somewhat different understanding of what you had agreed on. Or it might be that you had a perfect agreement, and he chose to go against that.
What I would do in a situation like that is take a lot of me time. You are under no obligation to hear him rant on about his other love. Since you have kids, it might be hard to consider a temporary separation, but if you don't feel like talking about it, you can just say that out loud. Get into therapy and suggest he goes separately, so you don't have give therapy to each other.
The OP's husband should have had a talk with the OP before he fucked his "love".
no disagreement there,communication,honesty,which the lack of causes alot of unneeded turmoil. sounds like hubby is just lacking in courage.
BlackUnicorn and Kreeativ, Thank you for your supportive words.
This all worked fairly well for a while, except that I never felt much more than a weak friendship for A while he seemed to get closer and closer to her up until now/the affair.
My husband says that he wasn't able to keep it to the platonic love level and that he basically panicked because he loved us both and then the sex and dishonesty happened. He says that if it is between her or me it is me. At this point I know myself well enough to know that I cannot trust her again and I cannot trust him again with her, so that situation (if I am involved) much to my husband's unhappiness, is over.
Now I am trying to figure out where do we go from here? I truly love him and I want him to be happy. I want ME to be happy too. No more lies, no more deceit, but how do we make this work?
Your husband must be in great pain. I feel for him. Two years! Seriously! Two years of hanging out with someone he loves! That has got to suck royally. I couldn't do it. He has NO reason to think his love is a mistake. Yes, what he did was a mistake, but the love, no.
You each play a part in this, firstly, if you thought this would go away then your were naive. Being a person who loves many is not something that "goes away" if anything it gets bigger. You seem to of neglected to get on this situation. You made an agreement that did not involve any kind of closeness for the two of them. Friendship? Come on! Not good enough, he loves her! That is not the same thing... that is torture!
He also did not take this situation into his hands by being honest and getting on it. Ya, you got mad the first time, but he needed to face his fear of that and you needed to be more patient I think. I don't know what you said, but somewhere a long the line he has got in his head that this is not okay. It's totally okay to love others, where was the compassion from you?! Especially as you say that "one day" you could be poly with him. Well, excuse me, but NOW is the time... not on your terms! On both of your terms.
I have just been through this same kind of experience. Check my blog from the last month or so. I have a non-sexual boyfriend, Leo, that I did some stuff with that went beyond the boundaries I had with my monogamous partner (Mono). He hit the roof and I was terrified of losing him. We processed this and still are. I have been with this other man for two years... same length of time as with my boyfriend. I ended up deciding Leo was not a good match in terms of the investment we would have if we were to have sex. I become very bonded and connected after sex with someone I love and who loves me. I wonder if your husband does too?
The whole experience has made us realize that it is possible that I might come across more love in my life. When we get there Mono and I will likely break up. He just will not be able to accommodate that. You seem to be saying that you CAN accommodate that and are willing to! Why not now? He loves this woman, you have known that for years, yet you cling to him and seem to not be willing to let him go. Why? I don't get it.... sure you are feeling betrayed, I get that. But that's it? Your man is giving you some information here and you are avoiding it.... HE LOVES HER AND IS POLY. What are you going to do about that....? My suggestion would be to allow your heart to open and let him go to her. Work on boundaries so that you get the time with him you need and let him go. He has proven he will stick by you. Show him some respect and gratitude for his loving you and let him go. That pain you are feeling is not going to go away until you decide to end it with him, or let him be who he is. He has stiffeled himself for two years! Is that not prove enough of his love and devotion to you?
Well I see from reading more that he not only was deceiving you but himself also. It seems the two of you have some learning to do about how poly can work. I stand by everything I say, even if he was a shmuck for not facing his fear and fighting that well learned feature of our culture, lying.
You asked what you should do now? I suggest doing some searches here, start with a tag search for "cheating" and "jealousy" and "boundaries" Then look at the stickies and find the thread on lessons learned and poly foundations... you can do a tag search for those too.
I would suggest getting on a heavy, honest conversation about boundaries and see how to work this woman in your life. He fucked up by thinking he could just be friends, but it isn't the end of the world, just time to look towards the future knowing that. For both of you.
Looking towards the future as soon as you can would be best I think... the longer you spend drowning in sorrow on either side the worse off. I don't mean that you should do things rashly, but get on talking... the only thing I think needs to happen quickly, as soon as it comes up and as often as is necessary is communicating. You don't have to agree to have him see her right away, but a time line for that happening. What will happen then. What you plan to do to deal with it. What you expect from him. What you expect from her. What kind of process you hope to use to get through this. Remember to keep it as fluid as you can... that way if something doesn't work, it can be changed after re-negotiating. You have a lot of work to do and a lot of questions to ask... when you are able to rise above the emotions, get to work.
*hugs* I feel for you both, really I do. I know what this feels like all too well :(
One of the boundary issues that I would talk about seriously with him is from now on, no more lying. On your side though, you have to be willing to listen and discuss things with him as well. The betrayal seems like it's a much bigger deal in your world than the fact that he was sexual with someone else. Rubuilding trust isn't something that happens overnight.
In no way am I making excuses here, I completely agree that honesty is a necessity in a relationship.
But, just for the sake of being reasonable, please consider this...
If you knew that someone whom you truly loved... was going to be destroyed emotionally by attributing false beliefs (i.e. believing that you don't love them, that they aren't "good enough"etc) to your actions (loving another person)....
would YOU tell them?
Do you tell your friend, sister, mother etc that she looks like crap and needs to deal with her diet and exercise?
Do you tell your children that their "beautiful" artwork actually looks like crap?
I'm not saying that you SHOULD or that you SHOULD NOT. I'm just saying, the large majority of people lie on a regular basis and so long as that's true, even if it's not about the same TOPIC or to the same PERSON, it's really not fair, reasonable, or rational to tell another that they "shouldn't" lie.
(that said, if HE asked my thoughts-I would ride his ass for lying-but it's not him asking for advice)
Polyamory isn't being in love with one and having other "just friends". While it may have felt safer for you to say that he could retain the frienship but nothing more, it wasn't accepting him as polyamorous
him agreeing to those terms WAS the appropriate step AT FIRST, to give you time to confront the new reality of who this man you are married to REALLY is.
he was wrong for not setting a time limit on that agreement, because by doing so he was setting himself (and the agreement and your relationships) up for failure.
It is PERFECTLY ok for you to be monogamous. PERFECTLY. But, in life, we only get to control ourselves. It is also perfectly ok, PERFECTLY ok for him to be polyamorous.
In a world that continues to preach publicly that it's NOT ok for him to be what he is-he learns to fight against himself. Unfortunately, whether we like it or not, anytime we try to fight against the truth of who we are, we will eventually fail.
In essence, he lied to you, because he was lying to himself in order to try to be the man you wanted him to be and the man that he BELIEVED he was SUPPOSED to be.
If you want him to be honest, you have to allow for him to be the man he IS and be accepted by you as that man.
How many "poly-peeps" are in the closet? If they are in the closet, they are lying. They are lying about who they are to SOMEONE, because they are protecting themselves and/or their loves/family/children from the abuses that they have every reason to believe will come if they are honest.
People who know that being honest will cause them to be abused, whether it be emotional, mental, psychological, physical, sexual.... generally will lie for self-protection. This doesn't change until they learn that there is another way out-and frankly, this isn't something that is commonly taught in action right now.
It's easy to blame the liar, and make no mistake-I agree that lying is wrong,
but the truth is that we are all to blame for the messes we find ourselves in due to our own expectations.
Someone who feels safe and secure about sharing the truth about themselves, rarely lies about it. Human nature is to protect ourselves.
If we're in a burning building, and the fire reaches our bodies-without "logic" we will jump-even knowing that we're too high to live through the fall. Because the burn is happening already, but the landing is not. Firefighters watch this too often if they aren't onsite quite soon enough or don't have the necessary equipment to reach the victims.
4. You say that you love him and that he loves you. It's my understanding that loving someone means wanting what is best for them. Is that your understanding also? If so, are you REALLY loving him? (were he here I'd ask him the same) Are you loving him as a verb (action word), not a noun.....?
Sometimes, loving someone means letting them do/be/say/have what you would not want, because it's what is best for them.
Sometimes, loving someone means letting them go, because you aren't able to accept them for who they are, and in order to give them what is best for them, you have to allow them to be with people who can accept them for who they really are.....
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